Since the moment LeBron James announced he was signing a long-term deal to join the Los Angeles Lakers, the conversation quickly turned to who the organization would target to play alongside him. Paul George was already out of the question as he chose to remain in OKC, and the Lakers also ended up losing the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes to the Raptors.
They’ve since assembled something of a motley crew of aging vets that they hope will buttress their up-and-coming talent, but there’s still plenty of space available for another star to join the ranks. If they wanted to continue down the route of players nearer the end of their career than the beginning (or in this case comfortably settled into retirement), then Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal has just the man in mind.
On a recent episode of The Big Podcast with Shaq, the Big Nostradamus made the bombshell prediction that his former teammate Kobe Bryant will come out of retirement to play alongside LeBron this season and proceeded to lay out the details of how it might come to fruition.
“Yes, because I know all the parties involved. Let’s talk about the Lakers parties. There’s already excitement with LeBron coming here. I don’t know how ticket sales are – boom, boom, boom. But if you make that announcement – ooooh – the Kobe jerseys and LeBron jerseys, side by side – a little package. It’ll explode. Right?”
“And now on Kobe’s side, ‘Kobe, we love you. We need you to lead. We need you to play 10, 15, 20 minutes a game. You play third, fourth quarter, we’ll let you do what you do, you and LeBron out there. LeBron running and kicking with you, and all you have to do is spot up and shoot jumpers 20 minutes a game.’ Kobe will think about that.”
That’s certainly an enticing prospect for Kobe stans, but even at his age, with the injuries and all the mileage on his body, it’s still hard to imagine Kobe being willing to take a backseat to LeBron.
But that might be a moot point anyway because, according to Vanessa Bryant, we can forget it in a response to a comment on a recent Instagram post.
“Kobe will not be coming out of retirement to play again. He doesn’t want to play again and frankly we really enjoy spending time together as a family without the crazy game schedule interfering with birthdays, holidays and special events.”
Oh well. It was a fun idea while it lasted.